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Aylin Özalp
Aylin Özalp
Role
Advisor - Turkey
Email
a.ozalp@dutchculture.nl
 

Good Practice: online queer art project ‘Through the Window’

Good Practice: online queer art project ‘Through the Window’

The Turkish online queer art project ‘Through the Window’ hosts talks, parties and an exhibition via Instagram.
Lotte Bosch

In January DutchCulture published Turn and Face the Strange, an overview of outstanding international cultural exchange practices that took place in 2020. The overview contains examples of good practices during the past pandemic year in the 23 focus countries of the International Cultural Policy framework 2021-2024, capturing the state of play at the various embassies and consulates. Today we spotlight the online queer art project Through the Window, which was launched with financial support from the Dutch Consulate-General in Istanbul. The project was founded at the beginning of the pandemic by Turkish musician, songwriter and DJ Kübra Uzun, artist and filmmaker Ömer Tevfik Erten and Dutch writer and philosopher Simon(e) van Saarloos.

Cultural Microsupport Fund

In 2020, the Consulate-General of the Netherlands in Istanbul launched a Cultural Microsupport Fund for small projects via two open calls. The purpose of these calls was to continue supporting projects in times of corona and to give creators and cultural organisations the opportunity to experiment with virtual or hybrid activities. Besides, the easily accessible calls should uncover new partners and potential projects. After receiving a great amount of applicants, the Consulate-General decided to assign a slightly larger budget to a few outstanding, promising projects. The online queer art project and exhibition Through the Window fulfilled this promise and is still working on an extensive cultural relationship between the Turkish and Dutch queer artists community.

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'Through the Window' participants 2020.
Online programme

The online art project entirely exists via Facebook and Instagram. Through the Window (TTW) started in May 2020 with the preparations for an online exhibition, which took place on the first of September at which they spotlighted the twenty participating artists and their work. Besides they organised meetings and talks. In April 2021, TTW announced the second online cycle of the programme according to the existing format. It includes two talks of several Turkish and Dutch guest speakers, focused on the themes ‘University & Activism’ and ‘Intersectional Pride', moderated by Simon(e) van Saarloos, co-hosted by Club CoWeed. The first one took place on 17 April and is still available to rewatch on IGTV, the second session will be part of the exhibition launch event on 24 June. After each talk, TTW hosts an online party with the participation of Turkish and Dutch DJs on a virtual booth.

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Through the Window logo
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Through the Window
Signature style

By now, TTW has created a clear signature style, using attractive graphic design and social media strategies for developing and maintaining collaborations between artists from both countries. Most of the interaction takes place on Instagram, rather than Facebook. After the launch of the second edition of TTW, the username of their Instagram account was changed from ‘@ThroughTheWindowProject_2020’ to ‘@ThroughTheWindow_Project’.

Proud practice

Through the Window is a great example of how to maintain and intensify the cultural relation between the Netherlands and Turkey during the pandemic. More importantly, TTW facilitates a safe and inspirational online space for an international queer community to share ideas about art, activism and pride.

Check out the complete overview of Dutch cultural activities in Turkey in our database. If you are a cultural professional interested in an international collaboration with Turkey, feel free to contact our new Advisor Turkey Aylin Özalp.